Grudko Associates: Security and Investigations Since 1980

Case studies

The following true cases briefly illustrate the some of the scope of our professional investigation services (certain details have been changed for obvious reasons):

Two Frauds

A US bank contacted us to confirm the credentials of two South African businessmen who were trying to raise US$ 100 000 000 in aid funds from Europe for a famine relief group in Southern Africa. It took us just two days to prove that the pair had fled Johannesburg with nearly a million Rands worth of debts and three warrants out for their arrests !

An Italian company invested R 20 000 000 in a Natal engineering company but were concerned to be asked to invest a further R 10 000 000 to ‘keep the doors open’.
We investigated and found out that a third of the original funds had been skimmed by the Chairman of the SA company, who had a string of dummy companies and accounts around the country.
Had the client come to us before investing they would probably have saved millions of Rands.

Security

A pharmaceutical company, rated a National Key Point in terms of the Act, called us in to test security procedures (designed by the SADF and a major private equipment supplier) and make recommendations.
In one month we entered the premises undetected or uncontrolled three times. We also pointed out two serious hazards, including an unprotected LPG tank of critical importance. As a result of our report 17 major changes were made to physical security and procedures.

The Case of Peter and Mary

An American contract employee of our client - let's call him 'Peter' - convinced them to give him a large amount of money to promote an aspect of their business. He was supposed to fly to Canada but never arrived. Shortly afterwards a young female employee, 'Mary' jetted off to join him.
It became obvious that he was not going to return, and phone calls and emails from Mary were worrying - she seemed to be under Peter's total control. An SA warrant for his arrest was issued.

We discovered that Peter had landed at New York and stayed at a hotel which he left without paying the bill. During his visit he flashed a firearm and claimed that he was a police officer.

Then he moved to Chicago where he met up with Mary and they moved into another apartment where he again let the handgun be seen, but this time said he was a PI!

In the meantime we discovered that Peter had taken his previous employers, in London and Dublin for an even bigger amount. We kept an eye on Peter, who bluffed his way into a job in a hospital so that he had access to drugs. Contact with Mary was vague and erratic. Traces on the cellphone came up with strange, out of State addresses, but we kept at it.

And then we discovered Peter's true identity - and 4 US arrest warrents. But he was on the move.
Peter took a taxi (which we lost in traffic, but that's another story) to a sleazy part of town and booked another apartment. Communication with Mary died.
On August 31, 3 US Marshals raided the apartment and Peter was arrested. He is currently in lockup, and will be there for quite a while.

A Mysterious Theft

November : A client had some valuables and a Glock pistol in a large safe in his garage (probably weighing 200 kg). One afternoon it just disappeared - no witnesses, no obvious clues. The police are informed but do nothing. We are called in the next day. Domestic staff are polygraphed and cleared. A single thumbprint is found. A vehicle was seen in the area. Contractors are interviewed. The complex security log and CCTV are inspected.
Strong suspects emerge. Cell phone records are checked through the police. A flat in low-rent Berea is identified. The premises are raided and 3 suspects arrested. A confession is obtained. The safe is pointed out (burned open in a ditch) and some items recovered. We are hoping for a 90% recovery.

A Medical Investigation

Sometimes a case works out so well that it just gives you a permanent good feeling:

In March '97 I got an email from an American doctor. His wife, also a doctor, was showing symptoms of a possibly genetic passed disease. She needed to find her family, but the problem was that she was adopted at the age of 2 in the mid 1940's.

There were few clues to work on and no real budget, but on a cool April morning in 1998, 13 months after being instructed, in an hour, a spooky, lucky hour, I found her missing family - 3 sisters she didn't know lived.

And they had the reunion on the deck of my house.

Click here to read an official story of us finding bugs on a political party's 'phones.